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At a time when Abstract Expressionism was at its zenith in the 1950s\, a small group of Bay Area artists returned to representations of form in the ir work. Known today as the Bay Area Figurative artists\, they retained the gestural movements\, thickly applied paint\, and vibrant colors characteri stic of Abstract Expressionism\, yet rejected its elimination of the figure . They claimed that the inclination to draw natural forms\, especially the human figure\, was instinctual. Their commitment to this notion represented a radical departure for the popular Abstract Expressionism movement\; yet it speaks to the innovative spirit of the Bay Area\, where artists have con sistently blazed new paths and pioneered artistic trends.

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Drawn from the de Saisset Museum's permanent collection and composed of works by Joan Brown\, Theophilus Brown\, Richard Diebenkorn\, Manuel Neri\, Nathan O liveira\, and Wayne Thiebaud\, Figure Forward traces the evolution of figuration in these artists' works over the course of several decades. Though most of the pieces included in this exhibition were produced in the years following the end of the Bay Area Figurative Movement (1950-1965)\, t he continuance of the figure—albeit more abstracted—speaks to their fascina tion with and commitment to the idea. The exhibition explores the progressi on of representation from clearly definable figures to more abstracted form s\, as it manifests in the works included in the museum's collection. It al so speaks to the significance and lasting influence of the Bay Area Figurat ive Movement.

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                                                   — Katie Cronin\, Guest Curator (SCU Class of '12)

DTEND:20121202 DTSTAMP:20141024T170525 DTSTART:20120817 GEO:37.3499438;-121.9406449 LOCATION:de Saisset Museum\, Santa Clara University\,500 El Camino Real \nS anta Clara\, CA 95053-0550 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Figure Forward: Works by Bay Area Figurative Artists\, Joan Brown\, Theophilus Brown\, Richard Diebenkorn\, Manuel Neri\, Nathan Oliveira\, Wa yne Thiebaud UID:221125 END:VEVENT BEGIN:VEVENT DTEND:20121004T203000 DTSTAMP:20141024T170525 DTSTART:20121004T190000 GEO:37.3499438;-121.9406449 LOCATION:de Saisset Museum\, Santa Clara University\,500 El Camino Real \nS anta Clara\, CA 95053-0550 SEQUENCE:0 SUMMARY:Figure Forward: Works by Bay Area Figurative Artists\, Joan Brown\, Theophilus Brown\, Richard Diebenkorn\, Manuel Neri\, Nathan Oliveira\, Wa yne Thiebaud UID:221126 END:VEVENT END:VCALENDAR